The Fortnite drama continues! Hot on the heels of Apple removing the game from the App Store over its bypassing of its in-app purchase methods, Google has now done the same. Fortnite is no longer available in the Google Play Store.

Google cites its “consistent policies” and says that it wants to “keep the store safe for all users”. That’s similar to the App Store explanation from Apple, too.

The open Android ecosystem lets developers distribute apps through multiple app stores. For game developers who choose to use the Play Store, we have consistent policies that are fair to developers and keep the store safe for users. While Fortnite remains available on Android, we can no longer make it available on Play because it violates our policies. However, we welcome the opportunity to continue our discussions with Epic and bring Fortnite back to Google Play.

The difference with Android is that users can still install Fortnite via other methods – something that simply isn’t possible on the iPhone and iPad. Still, that hasn’t stopped Google from ending up with a lawsuit of its own with Epic Games filing yesterday.

The argument with the Google Play Store is slightly different, though. Epic Games says that it has tried to bring Fortnite to other stores and have its game pre-installed on some devices. But that Google prevented it from doing so.

Notwithstanding its promises to make Android devices open to competition, Google has erected contractual and technological barriers that foreclose competing ways of distributing apps to Android users, ensuring that the Google Play Store accounts for nearly all the downloads of apps from app stores on Android devices.

Epic Games says that it had a deal with OnePlus that would have seen Fortnite come pre-installed on its devices, until Google made it back out. LG reportedly told Epic Games that it, contractually, wasn’t allowed to pre-install the game or third-party store, too.

This, like the Apple and App Store situation, will be a very interesting one to watch. Whether Epic Games expects to win or is just saber-rattling remains to be seen, however.

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